“We shall walk together on this path of life, for all things are part of the universe and are connected with each other to form one whole unity.”

~Maria Montessori

We will get through this together.


Emergency Response Plan

Protocols could not possibly be outlined for every emergency situation. The professional judgment of our Director and Principal will always be important in determining actions. The following is a quick reference for some of the processes in place to deal with emergency situations.


EARTHQUAKE In the event of an earthquake, students will be instructed to drop and cover. Drop and cover follows this process: drop to the ground, take cover by getting under a sturdy desk or table, and hold on to it until the shaking stops. Evacuation will proceed as outlined in the School
Emergency Preparedness Guide. Earthquake drills are practiced a minimum of twice per year school-wide.

FIRE In the event of a fire within a school, the fire alarm will be sounded by the person discovering the fire. Students will be evacuated from the building using the nearest safe exit and will assemble at a predetermined location where attendance will be taken and the names of missing
students and their possible location are reported to the Principal. Fire drills are practiced on a regular basis, once per month in the Primary Room and a minimum of three for the Lower & Upper Elementary.

HOLD & SECURE A ‘hold & secure’ should be used when it is desirable to secure the school due to an ongoing situation outside the school and not related to the school (e.g. a robbery occurs near a school, a cougar has been sighted in the neighbourhood). In this situation the school continues to function normally, with the exterior doors being locked until such time as the situation near the school is resolved. After any hold & secure, a communication should go out to parents/guardians briefly outlining the situation and how it was handled.

LOCKDOWN A ‘lockdown’ should only be used when there is a major incident or threat of school violence within the school, or in relation to the school. The school will follow the established lockdown procedures. Parents should wait for information from the school district before coming to the school. After any lockdown, a communication should go out to parents/guardians briefly outlining the situation and how it was handled. Lockdown drills are practiced at the school, at least twice per year.

VTRA FAIR NOTICE  From time to time it may be necessary to complete a Violence Threat Risk Assessment (VTRA) in response to threatening behavior toward students or staff. To ensure the safety of students, staff, parents and others, threats must be taken seriously, investigated and
responded to. The VTRA will allow the school to plan the interventions necessary to prevent traumatic events in schools.

PARENT INFORMATION In the event that students cannot be released from the school site, our alternative student pick-up location site is Hammond Community Centre. ***Student’s will only be released to the parent/guardians or individual(s) listed as an emergency designate.

LOCKDOWN: Used in response to an armed or dangerous assailant WITHIN the school

 Gather people in your vicinity into a secure room – do this quickly
 Close and secure doors
 Turn off lights, be quiet, get down low/behind heavy furniture, get out of sight
 Silence all cell phones and ask that they be placed face down on floor
 Alert other occupants by any means available and/or call 911 – only if safe to do so OR Leave Safe. If no secure area is available and a safe exit is, then quickly leave the area/school. Report to the designated assembly area and await instructions.

*Normal activities in the school cease. Await police response.

HOLD & SECURE: Used if there is a security concern in the neighbourhood

 Bring everyone into the school and remain inside
 Secure exterior doors and windows
 Close exterior window blinds/drapes (if available)
 No one may enter or exit the school during Hold & Secure

*Typically normal activities continue WITHIN the school.

EVACUATE: Used to move people out of the school when a hazard exists inside

 Direct students and other staff to exit the school via the shortest safe route
 Report to and assemble outside at the designated assembly site

*Principal or designate will determine next steps.

SHELTER IN PLACE: Used if an environmental hazard may impact the school

 Bring everyone into the school and remain indoors
 Secure exterior doors and windows
 Close exterior window blinds/drapes (if available)
 Turn off all ventilation systems (if locally available/situation dependent)
 Staff designates will monitor access to the school via the main entrance
 Access may be denied if a risk exists that jeopardizes the safety of occupants

*Typically normal activities continue WITHIN the school.

ROOM CLEAR: Used to move people away from a hazard contained in one room/area

Direct students to leave the room/area and report to designated area (Ex. Auditorium)
Summon assistance as needed and appropriate (Ex. call First Aid Attendant, Principal/Director, 911)

*Staff should remain to manage the situation or exit if the room is unsafe.

DROP, COVER & HOLD ON: Used in the event of an earthquake, explosion, or any event that shakes the school

 Quickly move away from obvious hazards
 DROP – low to the ground
 Cover – take Cover under a sturdy table, desks, furniture, or other large sturdy items
 HOLD ON – to the furniture you are under and stay there until the shaking stops
After the shaking stops, wait 60 seconds and then EVACUATE via the shortest safe route. Report to and assemble outside at the designated assembly site.

*Principal or other designate will determine next steps.

School Drills

6 drills per year  –  fall and spring

Note: actual alarms and false alarms count as drills

2 drills per year
October  – Great BC Shakeout

3 drills per year

1 review of procedures per year with all staff